Sunday, August 06, 2006
These guys are found at depth off Kona by the thousands. This short eel video was taken in a single spot, there are acres of these guys at this location.
Hawaiian Garden Eels (Gorgasia hawaiiensis)are a plankton feeding eel which spends it's life buried in the sand with it's head sticking out feeding all day long. According to divemaster/instructor/boat captain Bob, these guys grow to about 70 feet long - Prove him wrong! Actually, we usually only see about 12-18 inches of these critters sticking out, they'll back down into their burrows as you approach and they never do seem to get their entire body out, so you never know. The books put them at maybe a couple feet long.
This was taken at Garden Eel Cove, which is also home of the Manta Ray night dive. It's one of the locations we tend to see Garden Eels shallower than their typical 80 feet and deeper. At this location they are relatively used to people so you can slowly approach to within a few feet without them completely backing into their holes, in other areas you are lucky to get within 15-20 feet of them and still see them.